Published on September 12th, 2011 | by G. Bargas, Managing Editor
Star Fox 64 3D Review
Release Date: September 9th, 2011
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Price: SRP USD 39.99
Developer: Nintendo (Co-developed by Q-Games)
I was 11-years old when Star Fox 64 first release on the Nintendo 64 gaming console. It was also the first time that the rumble-pak would be introduced to the gaming world and the animations in the game were something to gawk at. Fast forward 14 years later, and a controller with “rumble” capabilities is standard on just about every gaming console and we are still admiring the flight of one fighting fox in outer space.
For those who have never played the title before, the original bundle which I picked up for $20 can be seen here on the right, Star Fox is the story of an outerspace battle in the Lylat system. Fox McCloud is hired to save it from the evil hands of Andross. The story continues on after losing his father, James McCloud, who was double crossed by a few members of his former team. The evil Andross–a malevolent cybernetic ape–is looking to rule the galaxy by the use of force and pollution.
This diabolical ape is the brains behind various ships and gizmos that are looking to end Peppy, Slippy, and Falco’s partnership with Star Fox, thus eliminating the only opposition in Andross’ plan to reign over the stars.
Most of the battle of the game is done in the air, but there are various other pathways to uncover during the games story mode. Blast the right door, kill the right enemies, or fly the unbeaten path in order to discover different routes to the final showdown.
These routes also uncover different vehicles. The Landmaster is a specialized tank that is able to hover and roll on the battlefield. The tank can charge its laser blaster and sway in and out the line of fire.
The other vehicle is made for the deep sea. The Blue-Marine hosts unlimited missiles and a swift firing, yet powerful blaster. The laser cannon on this ride does not have the ability to charge, but the cannon is powerful enough to defeat even the biggest of enemies.
This is just one of the ways in which Star Fox 64 stood out when it was originally released, but also in the later years in this remake. Some of the other areas where the previous title shined through the polygons were in the graphics department. This is also the case on this 3D remake.
The first time we set wing to the sky in ‘Corneria’, we already see the upgrades set in place. The glistening water and remade scenery look outstanding on the Nintendo 3DS. At a younger age, the weather effects and other aesthetics were not something that would have caught my attention. Now, things like the snow on ‘Fichina’ and the gleaming frozen lakes are elements that the console brings to life.
Other noticeable differences are in the controls. The controller in general has come a long way from a simple directional pad and some buttons. This was the similar case when the Nintendo 64 controller rolled on to the scene with its three pronged bottom and analog joystick. While the handheld 3DS console doesn’t host a joystick, the gyro and swivel-pad controls give players great mobility. Also, the touch screen is a guide for Arwing directional control (inverting the Up/Down) and for receiving supplies via ROB 64, Fox’s robotic guidance system. They did however suffer at times from the 3D viewing area on screen.
Something else that gets a fresh breath of life is the multiplayer that was introduced. In the N64 version, players saw the split screen action come to life with four players. This is still the same, except the elements of download and play have been put to use.
While it was great playing the title at E3 2011, it was a wonder as to whether the Wi-Fi ability was going to be introduced. The title left us with a download and play only version, which is rather disappointing as it is actually really fun to play. The introduction of having the face of your opponent on screen during battle was unique, but I found myself not really looking at it until the end of each match. The other elements were fun to play and would have been great taking on others over a wireless connection.
For new players, Star Fox 64 3D is genuine experience and opportunity to get to know one of the most notable heroes of the universe. How could you turn that down? Fans of the original Star Fox 64 will find that the game has carried over all of the elements of the previous title and complemented them with gyro controls and an upgrade in the graphics department.
All of the former elements of finding new paths are still the same (trust me, I had to pause the game and hit the internet to refresh my memory) and there is plenty of content rewards to get from acing a level. One of the good things about the Nintendo 3DS is that you can browse the internet while playing, which worked out well here. It should be an easy choice for anyone who played the original, or new Nintendo 3DS owners who are just getting to know this red fox. Even though the multiplayer hosts up to four players on one card locally, an online mode could have very well made this title near perfect revisit to the Lylat system.
[xrr label=”Rating: 8.5/10″ rating=8.5/10]
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